Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. Fight CRC chatted with the experts at Tired of Cancer to get the best tips for a restful night. Read the list below and choose one or two tips to integrate into your daily routine!
*Don’t give up after a few days. Consistent application for a longer period of time is the key to success!
The goal of the following tips is to help you create the best possible conditions and habits that encourage a better quality of sleep. We call this “good sleep hygiene.”
Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Keep your room cold, but your feet warm. It’s better to sleep in a cold room than a warm one, so try to arrange a cool environment for yourself, but with enough bedding to keep you warm.
Establish a Good Sleep Routine
Limit your interaction with TV and other devices before bed, and be sure to silence them. If you don’t, every time the light flashes or makes a noise it invites you to continue interacting, which keeps brain activity on high.
Establish a pre-bedtime routine that will train your body to recognize that it’s time to get ready for sleep. Wind down your day and refrain from any physical activities at least one hour before bedtime.
Turn your alarm clock around so that you can’t see the time. Watching the clock, particularly when you can’t sleep, will only make you restless, stressed, and frustrated.
It’s okay to take a power nap during the day, but later than 3pm can cause issues falling asleep at bedtime.
Mindfulness Exercises to Help You Sleep
Relax for an hour or two before you go to bed. Turn off the TV, read a book, listen to relaxing music, or treat yourself to a nice warm bath. You can also do breathing exercises on a regular basis throughout the day to ensure that you go to bed less stressed.
Pay Attention to Food and Nutrition
Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in the afternoon and evening; these stimulants interfere with sleep.
Try to eat light meals. Fatty and spicy foods can lead to regurgitation or acid reflux, especially if you are lying down – which is how most of us like to sleep!
Exercise and Sleep
Start the day with enough light. Light tells your biological clock it’s morning and that it’s time to wake up. Light also activates your body and mind. Make sure you move and stay active during the day! Exercise helps you sleep better, just be sure to finish exercising at least an hour before bedtime.
Learn more about better sleep, check out our Cancer-Related Fatigue Webinar!